Southern Cross information
for 198 BDE 23 INF
1/6 INF

For date 710122

198 BDE 23 INF was a US Army unit
1/6 INF was a US Army unit
Primary service involved, US Army
Quang Tin Province, I Corps, South Vietnam
Location, LZ DOTTIE
Description: The following is an edited version of an article titled "2 medics meet, one surrenders" by SP4 Terry Williamson 198th Inf. Bde. IO. LZ DOTTIE - A medic from the 23rd Division's 198th Infantry Brigade recently met a Viet Cong medic face-to-face, and when the meeting was over, the enemy decided he was working for the wrong side. A platoon from Delta Company, 1st Battalion, 6th Infantry while conducting an early morning search of a small hamlet southeast of Chu Lai, found three Viet Cong soldiers sitting in a small house. PFC John Cvitak of Omaha, platoon medic, intercepted the enemy medic, when the surprised Viet Cong tried to evade the surprise party planned by the "Regulars". 1LT James O'Brien of Houston, platoon leader, set up a semi-circle blocking force in front of the small hamlet. He then sent a searching party to check out a row of houses. PFC Cvitak stationed himself behind a small structure on the edge of the hamlet where a trail led to the row of houses. "We walked into the first house and noticed three armed Viet Cong sitting on the floor," said LT O'Brien. "They began firing at us and we took cover short distance from the house and returned fire." The firing did not last long, however, as the three enemy tried to escape before the "Regulars" could close in on them. Two of the Viet Cong managed to get away by going through the rear side of the hamlet, using a small tunnel in the rear of the house. The enemy medic also used the escape tunnel, but his chosen escape route proved to be the wrong choice. He ran up the small trail which led to his unannounced meeting with his counterpart. PFC Cvitak saw the Viet Cong running down the trail with a bag containing the wares of his work. PFC Cvitak hid behind the small structure and waited for the unsuspected meeting. The Viet Cong came pounding by the small structure and medic to medic, the two came crashing to the ground as PFC Cvitak lunged on the enemy from his hiding place. "I just grabbed him when he came running by," said PFC Cvitak. "I saw him coming, and I was ready for him when he came down the trail." LT O'Brien and SGT Abbr C. Cooper of Auburndale, Fla., who had chased the Viet Cong up the trail, added to the consternation of the captured medic, and he politely removed a pistol belt containing five Chicom hand grenades and handed them to PFC Cvitak.

The source for this information was 7101_404_scr supplied by Les Hines 01/2000

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Last updated 12/14/2000

Date posted on this site: 05/13/2023